New Mackay overpass puts ring road on home stretch
MACKAY'S biggest-ever road project has hit another milestone, with the $497 million Mackay Ring Road - Stage 1's largest overpass now complete.
Crews recently placed the final 31-tonne bridge deck on the Mackay Ring Road's new overpass at Ooralea, putting the project on the home stretch.
Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Ring Road will be a game-changer for the Mackay region.
"The 11.3 kilometre bypass will provide an alternative route for freight and traffic to improve accessibility of urban sections of the Bruce Highway, which means motorists will reach their destinations sooner and safer," Mr McCormack said.
"This major infrastructure project, requiring 159 decks and 68 piles, will enhance the capability of Mackay's road network and reduce travel times with the removal of 10 sets of traffic signals."
Queensland Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said more than 1,200 local workers have been inducted on the project to-date.
"This is about cutting congestion, creating new opportunities and generating local jobs for Mackay," Mr Bailey said.
"It's concrete evidence of the Queensland Government's $1.3 billion roads and transport budget for the region, with the Walkerston Bypass not too far behind."
Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen said it fantastic to see Mackay receiving its fair share of projects from the jointly funded $12.6 billion Bruce Highway Upgrade Program (the BHUP).
"Mackay is a thriving, growing and attractive place to live and visit and it is great projects such as this are not only going to help current but future demand," Mr Christensen said.
"With the completion of the overpass at Ooralea, this project is progressing well and is on track to be completed in late 2020."
State Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said once complete, the Mackay Ring Road would mark the return of Nebo Road to the community and local businesses, with local traffic no longer having to compete with trucks and other heavy vehicles.
"Primary producers and truckies don't want to deal with 10 sets of lights, and locals are sick of hearing trucks barrel down during the dead of night," Mrs Gilbert said.
"Thanks to projects such as this, we're paving the way for a better city, supporting local industry and creating more than 1,000 jobs in the process."
Crews will now start progress on the overpass' on and off-ramps and upgrades to the Peak Downs Highway between Horse, Jockey and Sextons roads.
The $497 million project is jointly funded, with the Australian Government committing up to $397.9 million and the Queensland Government $99.4 million.